The best gaming headset can immerse you in the single-player virtual worlds even more fully. And when it comes to competitive online multiplayer games, they can greatly enhance your chances of survival.
UPDATE:We've added the HyperX Cloud Alpha S headset to our best video gaming headsets list this week because the brand has brought out an all-new edition called blackout, with all black casing and styling. We already have the HyperX Cloud Alpha on our list, but the S edition has had some worthy enhancements that make it one of the best mid-range options on the market.
Being able to tell where that distant gunshot is coming from, or to hear the shuffle of approaching feet, may be the difference between a win and a loss (or at the very least an annoying respawn). And a decent microphone is vital if you intend to coordinate with your fellow players.
Picking out the right set of gaming headphones can be a daunting process, however. There are just so many of the things out there, not all of which will work perfectly with your chosen platform.
Here are ten of the best gaming headsets on the market, whether you’re playing on PS4, Xbox One or PC.
- Want another upgrade? Read our comparison of the best game consoles.
Best gaming headset
1. Audio Technica ATH-ADG1x
You’ll have to pay a pretty penny for the wired Audio Technica ATH-ADG1x, but it’s not hard to see where the money has been spent. As you’d expect from this audiophile brand, sound quality is spectacular.
With an open-backed design, you’ll get the kind airy, spacious sound profile that traditional closed cans simply can’t supply - and nice cool ears to boot. This also means that sound leakage is an issue, so don’t buy the ATH-ADG1x if you game with other people in the room.
2. SteelSeries Arctis 7
The SteelSeries Arctis 7 is a widely loved all-round pick thanks to a tidy design (check out the retractable mic) and clean wireless sound. Strong battery life means that you could conceivably play for an entire day without having to plug them in, while the build quality is exemplary.
Note that Xbox One gamers won’t be able to use these headphones wirelessly (PS4 and PC only). They should opt for the very similar SteelSeries Arctis 9X instead.
3. Turtle Beach Stealth 600
By virtue of being officially endorsed by Microsoft, the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 can hook up wirelessly to the Xbox One without the use of a dongle (there’s a PS4/PC version that uses such a dongle too). It also sounds great, with punchy 50mm drivers, and it’ll last a good 15 hours in between charges. Throw in an affordable sub-£100 price tag, and you’re looking at well-balanced pick for Xbox One gamers in particular.
4. HyperX Cloud Alpha S
We've already got the HyperX Cloud Alpha on our list of the best gaming headsets because it's a great budget option. But the updated Alpha S is worthy of a place too, as it's a solid mid-range choice. It has a solid aluminium design, great audio performance and, importantly, it's comfortable enough to wear for long gaming sessions.
What's more, HyperX has recently released the 'blackout' version of the Alpha S, which has all black styling and casing.
5. Astro A50 Wireless
Console gamers looking for a high-class set of gaming headphones should take a peek at the Astro A50. This headset comes in both PS4 and Xbox One flavours, and has high quality Dolby 7.1 Surround sound that opens up the possibility of true positional sound.
You also get a handy magnetic charging station, so ensuring the set is always juiced-up is a doddle. All that said, they are expensive and really rather gaudy, so won’t be to everyone’s taste.
6. Razer Nari Ultimate
The Razer Nari Ultimate produces haptic feedback, so you literally feel those bassy low notes. Needless to say, music and rhythm-based games are an absolute hoot with this headset.
Cooling gel-infused cushions keep your ears from overheating too. Razer’s premium set isn’t all about the gimmicks though. Rare support for THX Spatial Audio allows for some truly epic spatial awareness - on PC at least. PS4 owners will have to make do with generic (but awesome) stereo.
7. Logitech G Pro
The Logitech G Pro is among the most affordable set of gaming headphones on this list at around £60, but that doesn’t mean that they compromise on quality. Indeed, Logitech designed it with the input of eSports competitors, so you known they mean business. This set of cans is notable for its complete lack of bells and whistles, with a subdued but comfortable design, wired connectivity, minimal controls, and no virtual surround sound support. Just the basics done well.
8. Corsair HS70
The Corsair HS70 provides exemplary sound and wireless connectivity for PS4 and PC gamers at a very keen price. It also avoids the questionable trend for tacky design, which has somewhat infected the gaming peripheral space. The HS70’s plush stealth-black looks could almost pass for a set of normal audiophile headphones, meaning you could almost get away with wearing them outside of the house if they didn’t require a dongle to operate. There’s 7.1 surround sound compatibility for PC gamers too.
9. HyperX Cloud Alpha
The HyperX Cloud Alpha is one of the best-value sets of gaming headphones on this list. This wired set looks and feels great, with a solid metal frame you’d usually expect to pay over £100 for and comfortable memory foam earcups. Elsewhere 50mm dual chamber drivers ensure that sound output is just as strong as the build quality. It’s little wonder that the HyperX Cloud line has been a mainstay of the PC gaming scene for years.
10. SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC
If you have a healthy budget and demand the absolute best sound from your PC and PS4 games, the SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC should be part of the conversation. As the name suggests, these elite wired headphones are made up of two parts - a crisply designed set of premium headphones and a plug-in DAC (Digital to Analogue Converter) unit. These components combine to crank out high-resolution 96kHZ/24-bit audio of the highest quality.
11. Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Aero
If you are looking for the ultimate in PC gaming headsets, then you could do a lot worse than the Elite Atlas Aero. Spatially, this headset is superb - offering 360-degree sonic delights, thanks to something called Waves NX 3D Audio. They are comfortable to wear, even if the design won't be to everyone's tastes. They are bloody comfy to wear, thanks to the memory foam earcups and Turtle Beach has also taken into consideration those who wear glasses which is a really nice touch. We're not that convinced with the accompanying software (it works, it's just fiddly) but there's no doubting that this is a premium-looking, great-sounding PC gaming headset
12. Turtle Beach Recon 70
The Turtle Beach Recon 70 are ideal for those who are on a budget and don't mind being wired up while gaming. This headset regularly drops under the £20 mark (its RRP is £35), so if you can get it at this price, then you have the ultimate bargain. The design is solid, the sound the same - while you are not going bathe your ears in surround sound, what you get for the price is decent. One qualm: we would have preferred a detachable mic, but the flip-down one does the job well
13. Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2
You know that a gaming headset is going to offer pretty special sound when it comes with its own SuperAmp. As you can guess by the name, the Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 is a headset for those dead serious about their gaming. It works with PC, PS4 and has Aerofit earcups (like pillows for your ears) and are great for gamers with glasses. The sound is epic, the look formidable - even if they are a little on the pricey sid. They won't make you an e-sport pro, but you can bet that a few are wearing them right now.